Is weed legal in Ecuador? – Things you should Know 2023

Is weed legal in Ecuador? Ecuador is a small weed-friendly country in Latin America. But still, there are certain things and laws you should take care of. For example, we are trying to answer, ‘Is weed legal in Ecuador? ‘Learn about the marijuana laws and Do’s & Don’t Ecuador.

If you would like to know more, then read this complete guide on cannabis laws in Ecuador.

Ecuador is a country that was very tough on weed a few years back. But, after increasing public interest and boosting its economy, the government finally relaxed the laws. Now some amount of possession for personal use is tolerable. Further, the country has recently legalized medical cannabis. Marijuana use for recreational purposes remains illegal.

Want to know the details? Read ahead.

Ecuador Drug Laws: History and Laws


Ecuador Drug Laws

Current Legal Status:

Medical Marijuana: Legal

Recreational Marijuana: Illegal but decriminalized for personal use.

A person in Ecuador can possess up to 10 gms of cannabis, decriminalized but still illegal. However, selling and cultivation are not legal. Medical cannabis has just got legal status in Ecuador.

Let’s understand the history of cannabis in Ecuador through the timeline.

History of Cannabis in Ecuador:

Cannabis in Ecuador came from Mexico in the 1900s. Since then, marijuana has faced a lot of bans and rules so far in Ecuador.

1970- The government passed the Law of Control and Intervention in the Trafficking of Narcotics. This law states that drug consumption is not a crime but should be regulated as it induces many health issues.

In 1987, the Ecuadorian Congress passed a new law, Law of Control and Intervention in the Trafficking of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, which imposed stricter prohibitions on drug use.

Further, in 1991, the Law of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was introduced. The law was the strictest of the last laws. The accused was subjected to a minimum of 10 years in jail, whether he was using cannabis for personal consumption or drug trafficking. This law became more famous with the name Law 108.

Later, the jail time increased from 10-12 years. Due to this law, Ecuador’s jails became overcrowded. And, the time came again to change the laws.

In 2008, The constitution of Ecuador stated that marijuana is not a crime but a health concern for individuals.

Finally, in 2013, the country took a positive step. The law favoured the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana or hash for personal use. However, drug trafficking, medical cannabis, and recreational cannabis remain illegal.

This law has revolutionalized the life of Ecuador Citizens. And the demands rose for making medical cannabis legal. In 2019, cannabis use for medical use was legalized by the National Assembly of Ecuador.

Drug Laws In Ecuador: about personal consumption, medicinal cannabis, Drug trafficking, and use

Let’s learn the laws in detail.

Drug Laws In Ecuador

Laws on possession of weed:

Ecuador has witnessed the toughest laws on marijuana in previous times. The laws were the strictest in South America.

When the prisons faced the issue of managing the crowd in jail, the new law was passed. The condition of jails was so horrible at some point that almost 50% of the country’s population was behind bars!- According to TNI

In 2013, attorney general Diego Garcia repealed the previous laws on personal use of weed up to 10 grams. The court stated that marijuana is a public health problem and not a crime. Since then, carrying up to 10 gms of cannabis doesn’t come under prosecution.

However, Judge Diego Garcia further cleared that “the law allows consumption and considers it not criminal, but cultivation, trafficking, and sale of small or high amounts [of drugs] remain illegal.”

Laws on Selling Marijuana:

You cannot sell cannabis in Ecuador. However, the legislation doesn’t allow the sale of cannabis for any purpose. Instead, there is a heavy prison sentence for such crimes.

The law of 1991, Law 108, has a prison time of 10 years. However, the regulations are still the same. If someone is accused of more crimes related to weed, like murder or drug trafficking, he will face jail for up to 25 years!

The role is still the same. However, there were many protests against it. As people say that if a person is not guilty of drug trafficking or does not have any criminal records, he will be in harsh imprisonment for just smuggling drugs for his personal or kids’ usage.

Laws on cannabis Cultivation:

Cannabis cultivation is not very popular in Ecuador. It is more of a transit country. Thus the number of growers who cultivate marijuana is quite less than in other countries in South America.

Luckily, in Ecuador, cannabis cultivation is legal but for personal usage only. If anyone is growing plants for his use, he will not be a criminal in the eyes of the prosecution.

Even if any company is growing cannabis for scientific research under the license of the Technical Secretariat of Drugs (SETED), it will be legal cultivation.

Additionally, Ecuador possesses a great environment for the cultivation of marijuana like its neighbours like Peru, Chile, and Colombia.

So you can carry up with your marijuana plant.

Laws on CBD usage:

CBD is currently legal in Ecuador. Authorities allow only those cannabis products that contain THC up to 0.1%, which is less than the other countries in the world.

Also, These products are available in pharmacies only.

Medical cannabis Industry in Ecuador:

On September 17, 2019, Ecuador created history by legalizing medicinal cannabis. Additionally, it has become the fifth nation in Latin America to legalize cannabis for medical use. The law was passed through legislation when around 83 politicians voted in favour of legalizing cannabis for medical purposes. The law was passed because much evidence showed that cannabis has no harmful effects on public health.

With this law, the medical cannabis industry was formed in Ecuador. The National assembly of Ecuador approved the cultivation, research, and usage of medicinal cannabis for treatment purposes. Article

So, the medical cannabis industry is on the bounce. Cannabis oils, lotions, and cremes are also produced and sold nationwide. Article

The government provided guidelines to the doctors about assessing the condition and needs of the patients. They can prescribe marijuana only after they have no other option left for the treatment.

Hemp Industry in Ecuador:

Hemp Industry in Ecuador

Earlier, Hemp was illegal to grow, sell and use. There were harsh punishments if consumed or grown. But in 2020, the new law made Hemp legal. However, the legal THC content is still up to 0.1 % only. The least legal THC content in the world!

The Ministry of Agriculture or Ecuador force issued the regulations and rules for the import, export, plantation, harvest, cultivation, and industrialization of Hemp in Ecuador. Industrial Hemp is surely thriving in Ecuador.


Can I smoke weed in public in Ecuador

Yes, Smoking weed will not let you face prison. You can smoke in private spaces or on the streets. Cannabis smoking is highly tolerant in Ecuador.

What is the quality of weed?

You will get fairly good quality cannabis in Ecuador. Some very big and reputed brands sell implicitly, like Mango, Punto Rojo, Skunk, and BC quality.

Where can I get cannabis in Ecuador, as it is illegal to sell?

It is not a wise thing to roam around to buy cannabis. It is illegal, and police can catch you anytime, But still, if you are in need, then try to make some local pot-loving friends. He may guide you. However, the capital, Quito, and Guayaquil are some cities where you will find some refugees selling weed.

Is marijuana expensive in Ecuador?

You will get the cheapest weed in Latin America and South America.

Final Verdict:

The recent developments in Ecuador have shown the country’s positive outlook toward cannabis. Medical cannabis and cultivation have found legal status, and marijuana is tolerable for personal use.

Indeed, at some point in time, you can also expect recreational cannabis to get legal in Ecuador. So if you are a citizen or a tourist in Ecuador, you must take care not to buy or sell weed in any case. Remember, the law won’t spare you, and you must face severe jail punishments. This can ruin your future.

So, being an intelligent tourist or a wise citizen, respect the rules and enjoy within the law’s limits until you wait for the complete legalization!

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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